The on-line travel business is a very dynamic and continually evolving. Currently, there are four chief criteria to gain visible placement and improve your exposure; however, nothing is ever guaranteed. The very complex 'algorithms' that determine your placement on the Network factor in the following:
1. Provide the best rates in your area. Travelers continue to shop by price and expect the Internet to provide comparable value. Competitive rates are the best determinant of success right now on the Internet.
2. Get as many bookings as possible. Many travel sites work according to the free market principle: the more bookings you have received, the better you must be. Therefore, the more bookings you receive, the better your placement will be on Network travel sites.
3. Work with a company like BookingCenter who pays their bills on time! A chief criterion for placement that is used by WorldRes, Expedia, and Orbitz is based upon the company's history of paying commissions on time, therefore giving priority to those who pay their bills.
4. Participate in Net Rates for consumer sites such as Expedia, Priceline, Hotwire, etc. There is detailed overview of these programs BookingCenter can provide automation for at: http://www.bookingcenter.com/products/net_rate.html
5. Other factors include estimate sales potential, traveler review ratings, promotional offers, and customer service history.
There is no guarantee for placement for any independent property on the largest consumer travel sites. Properties new to the Network must inch their way up to the top. If the property pays a higher commission rate and has competitive prices and policies, then it will get bookings and move up faster in placement and exposure.
In some cases, a property’s listing will never be activated, or deactivated, per a travel website's Revenue Management department. This more often than not, takes place in larger markets (i.e. New York, Rome) because of market saturation. In this case, participation in a Merchant partners or NetRate program is the only option that allows property’s to be active.